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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50150
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a retired health and safety professional. A health and

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I am a retired health and safety professional. A health and safety consultancy company has asked me to give them regular advice (visiting sites and producing reports for the company. The company will then forward this report to their client under company letterhead and charge the client a fee (from which they will pay me a part). I will not be an employee of the company. Do I need Professional Indemnity Insurance in case the company (or their insurers) decide to claim aganst me, if they receive a claim from their client? Also, if I should have PII, how long should I keep it going after I finish working, as presumably claims could come in 5-10 years later?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What potential claims could they make against you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For example, if I visited a factory spraying flammable varnish onto large sailing boats and produced a report to the effect that they were complying with the relevant fire/explosion prevention legislation (DSEAR Regulations) - or gave incorrect advice in my report on how to comply. I would send my report to the health and safety consultancy company. That company would then forward my report under their letterhead to their client company which I had visited. The client pays the consultancy company which passes me a percentage fee. Then say 3 years later the sprayshop explodes due to an ignition source I had not considered in my report (eg static electricity on clothing or a faulty electrical fitting). The company will lose production, require a new building and there my be injuries. Presumably they (and any injured persons) initially claim against the consultancy company which sent them the report? Could the consultancy company or their insurers then claim against me? If so presumably I should have prof. liability insurance?
Thank you. The first thing you need to check is whether it is compulsory to have professional indemnity insurance in place. So professions legally require it, such as accountants and lawyers, others may only require it due to regulatory or trade membership requirements. I do not know whether your specific industry requires it o you need to check, perhaps with the company you work for, whether it is an industry requirement. If it is not, it is your choice as to whether you have such insurance in place. You must decide if there is a risk of a claim being made against you as a result of the professional advice you have given to clients. You advice is provided under the guise of the company you work for so technically the client may have to claim against them. However, the company may then claim against you themselves so if you believe that the risk of incorrect advice exposes you to a potential claim you should have such insurance in place. As to the duration of the cover, there are different policies and you need to check whether they cover on a ‘claims made’ or a ‘claims occurring’ basis as that will defined whether you get covered for claims which occurred as a result of something which you did at the time the policy was in force. You need to have the ‘claims occurring’ type of policy for that. More information here: I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your help. You've confirmed my thoughts which is helpful, so I will get insurance. I've noted the 'claims occuring' advice and that will be useful too.
You are welcome, all the best